San Francisco Mulls Cell Phone Cancer Warnings

San Francisco could become the first U.S. city to require <"">cancer warnings on cell phones. According to a recent New York Times report, Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to propose such an ordinance next month.

Concerns over the possible health consequences of cell phone use are growing. Just this past October, we reported that a preliminary analysis of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) groundbreaking Interphone study found a “significantly increased risk” of some brain tumors “related to use of mobile phones for a period of 10 years or more.”

The Interphone authors did say the study was not definitive, and limited because it depended on subjects’ memories to determine frequency of cell phone use. But the preliminary findings have caused concern. What’s more, the study’s head, Dr Elisabeth Cardis, said she backed new warnings for cell phones based on its findings.

According to The New York Times, San Francisco’s environment commission will discuss eight recommendations related to radiation emitted by cell phones and local, state and federal policies regarding it. The Associated Press is reporting that the San Francisco cell phone cancer warning would require manufacturers to display electromagnetic radiation absorption rate level next to each phone in print at least as big as the price.

As we reported previously, a lawmaker in the state of Maine has also proposed a cell phone cancer warning. Rep. Andrea Boland, D-Sanford, wants manufacturers to put labels on phones and packaging warning of the potential for brain cancer associated with electromagnetic radiation. The warnings would recommend that users, especially children and pregnant women, keep the devices away from their head and body. The warning would also include a color graphic of a child’s brain. Boland has persuaded Maine’s legislative leaders to allow her cell phone warning proposal to come up for discussion during the 2010 legislative session that begins in January.

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